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Discover North India

Solo Travellers 45 years & over
Monday 22 October – Tuesday 6 November 2018

Itinerary

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS 

  • A mix of styles and activities in both Old and New Delhi
  • Touring the mystical holy city of Varanasi.
  • A tour of the mighty Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • An evening and sunrise boat trip on the Ganges River, Varanasi.
  • Exploring the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur.
  • The ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur.
  • Travelling to the ‘Venice of the East’ in Udaipur.
  • Dinner overlooking the famous lakes and palaces of Udaipur
  • The experience of ‘heritage’ hotels at some destinations
  • Enjoy a small group experience only for solo travellers

 

 

DAY 1 – MONDAY 22 OCTOBER 2018
Arrive to New Delhi

Arrive at Delhi Indira Gandhi (IGI) International Airport. The group will be met by our tour leader and transferred to your hotel in New Delhi, the bustling capital city of India*.

The next two days and nights will be spent exploring vibrant New Delhi.

Meals:  N/A

* applies to passengers travelling on the group nominated flight as part of their total package. For travellers making their own flight arrangements please liaise with us about airport transfer options.

DAY 2 – TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2018
Explore New Delhi

Start the day by enjoying breakfast at your leisure at our hotel. This will be followed by a group briefing at 10am. This will give you the opportunity to discuss the tour details, meet your tour leader, and ask any general tour questions.

Today you will be taken back in time to the ancient walled city of Old Delhi, also known as ‘Shahjahanaabad’, which dates from the 17th century. You will explore the spectacular

Jama Masjid or ‘Friday Mosque’, built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor also famous for his construction of the mighty Taj Mahal at Agra. Make sure to look out for the iconic red sandstone minarets and the breath taking marble domes.

From Jama Mosque, you will move onto a rickshaw tour of Old Delhi, the highlight of which will be a trip to the sprawling Chandani Chowk market. In the days of old, the markets were flanked with canals to reflect the moonlight. Chandni Chowk is full to the brim of exquisite Indian fabrics, gold and silver ware, and aromatic spices. Enjoy this riot of colours and mouth-watering smells from the comfort of your own traditional cycle rickshaw, designed to give you a front row seat to life in Old Delhi whilst also beating the heat.

Having worked up an appetite perusing the local flavours at Chandni Chowk, lunch will be served at Chor Bizarre Restaurant .

Today we also visit Raj Ghat, the final resting place of Mahatma Ghandi, set on the banks of the Yamuna River. This revered spot and pilgrimage site is marked with a black marble tomb and an eternal flame that burns next to picturesque lawns. From here you will move on to the National Ghandi Museum to learn more about the life and work of this iconic figure.

You will then end the afternoon with a city orientation tour that includes the famous Delhi Gate that links Old Delhi with New Delhi. Keep an eye out and see if you can spot the ornate carved stone elephants.

As afternoon moves to evening you will travel to a local Sikh Gurudwara temple, named Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Topped with a stunning gold dome, this is one of the largest and grandest Sikh houses of worship in Delhi, and the complex even features a pool known as a ‘Sarovar’. A serene and relaxing way to end the day in Delhi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch  

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2018
Delhi - Varanasi by flight

After breakfast you will travel to Delhi Indira Gandhi (IGI) International Airport for a short domestic flight to the city of Varanasi, known as the holiest city in India. Varanasi is home to the magnificent Ganges River, and is an important place of worship in Hinduism and Jainism. It is also said to be the city where Buddha founded Buddhism.

The group will be met at Varanasi airport and transferred to your hotel. There will be free time to relax and rest after the flight.

In the early evening, we transfer from our hotel to the Ganges, to enjoy a relaxed walk along the banks of the Ganges, whose sacred waters attract pilgrims from all over the world. The Ganges is also known in Hinduism as the goddess Ganga. Dinner will follow at Restaurant The Great Kabab Factory.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner (At The Kabab Factory Restaurant)

DAY 4 – THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER 2018
Varanasi

Start the day in Varanasi with the {optional activity of an early morning Surya Namaskar yoga class. The class will be held near the iconic Varanasi Ghats, the stone steps leading down to the Ganges that are used by those wishing to bathe or worship in the sacred waters. Sign up and payment for the class can be made directly to your tour leader.}

This morning, explore Varanasi on a walking tour of the old city and its famous lanes that wind through traditional markets, the labyrinth of laneways and local spots of interest. The tour will end with a cycle rickshaw tour to explore more of the old city.

Varanasi is known for its fine quality silks, Benaras Hindu University, being one of the largest residential universities in Asia and ‘paan’, which is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut, and sometimes tobacco. Paan is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects.  In the afternoon you will tour a silk and textile weaving showroom to experience first-hand how these exquisite fabrics are produced.  {If you don’t feel like going shopping, then there is the option to opt out. And we will transfer to you the Hotel.}

You will end the day with a sunset boat trip to witness the Aarti Fire Ceremony, a religious ritual in Hinduism in which torches or candles containing ghee or camphor are set alight and presented as offerings to the deities. After witnessing this ceremonial spectacle, you will then head out for dinner at Shri Annapurna restaurant for a traditional North Indian meal named Thali. Diners will get to sample a variety of small local dishes as part of the traditional Thali set, including curries, yoghurts, and chutneys.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 – FRIDAY 26 OCTOBER 2018
Varanasi - New Delhi by flight

Get ready for an early start to witness the sunrise with a boat trip on the Ganges to watch the morning bathing rituals and famous cremations. It’s a spectacle to behold and a tour highlight. We return to the hotel for breakfast after the boat ride.

In time you will transfer to Varanasi airport for your flight to Dehli. Upon arrival in Dehli you will be transferred to Restaurant Lazeez Affaire for Lunch.  Later transfer to the Hotel. Dinner tonight at your Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 –SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER 2018
Delhi - Agra by surface (220 kms /03 hrs.)

After breakfast, you  will be transferred to Agra.  Known as the city of the Taj.

In the evening, you will enjoy a walk along the serene banks of the Yamuna River to witness the splendour of the unparalleled Taj Mahal from the riverside before you get to explore it up close tomorrow.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 7 – SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2018
Agra

Get ready for entry to the Taj Mahal when the gates first open in order to beat the crowds and explore this 17th century wonder on a guided tour. The structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will get to spend time marvelling at the ornate inner decorations as well as meandering in the abundant flower gardens studded with water features that are said to be modelled on the rivers of Paradise. You will then return to your hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast you will have the chance to visit Agra Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the sister monument to the Taj Mahal, actually a walled city built out of red sandstone.

Today, lunch is at your leisure.

Kick off the afternoon portion of the tour with a visit to Sadar Bazaar and textile showrooms experience the best of local Indian arts, crafts, and food. The bazaar features aromatic sweet shops, leather handicrafts, and beautiful marble work, said to be the best in all of India. Travellers can choose to opt out of this trip with transport back to the hotel if desired.

Dinner will be served at a traditional Mughlai restaurant and will feature dishes first developed in medieval times in India. Reflecting the way in which food was served during the times of the Mughal Empire, you will have the chance to sample classic North Indian staples that include Rogan Josh, Biryani, and Korma.          

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 8 – MONDAY 29 OCTOBER 2018
Agra /Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur by surface (250 KMS / 05 HRS.)

Optional Yoga & Meditation Classes Rise at dawn to enjoy the Taj Mahal in the peaceful morning light at Taj Khema.

Today you will depart for Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’, and the capital of the state of Rajasthan in the north of India. Enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri the imperial city of the Mughal dynasty built by Akbar. Lunch will be served at Bharatpur in hotel Udai Vilas Palace.

After arrival transfer to the hotel. In Evening visit The Birla Temple to attend, originally known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and is situated below the Moti Dungri Fort in Jaipur. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, this temple is a proud architectural landmark of Jaipur. Built in pure white marble, the Birla Temple is unlike the traditional ancient Hindu temples, and is built with a modern approach.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 – TUESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2018
Jaipur

We will start the day with a guided tour of City Palace, a majestic complex that is known for its stunning palaces, courtyards, gardens, and other administrative buildings that date from the 18th century.

After the trip to the City Palace, there will be time for lunch at your leisure. Also a BLOCK PRINTING DEMONSTRATION.

In the afternoon you will get a chance to visit the old city bazaars, which are found within the ancient walled part of the city. The bazaars showcase the best of the region’s handicrafts including jewellery, metalwork, textiles, utensils, traditional footwear and pottery, where bargaining is considered an essential skill when making a purchase.

For a truly unforgettable experience in the evening, you will join a cooking demonstration of Indian cuisine that will take you through the importance and uses of local ingredients, and teach you how to whip up some staple Indian dishes. The cooking demonstration will be followed by dinner.

Meal: Breakfast, Dinner (At Indian Family Home, with demonstration)

DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2018
Jaipur

Get ready for an early start as you set out on a trip to Amber Fort that sits atop a hill in the town of Amer, just outside of Jaipur. A place of great historical significance in India, the fort looks out over Maota Lake, and is famous for its Hindu design aesthetic. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of a group known as the Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

We return for lunch at hotel and then, you will then have the option to have an astrology reading. Perfect for those interested in Indian mysticism who want a glimpse into the future!

The afternoon will be spent at your leisure.

Dinner tonight is by your own arrangement.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 11 – THURSDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2018
Jaipur - Jodhpur by surface (338 kms /06 hrs.)

Today we will travel to the city of Jodhpur that sits in the imposing Thar Desert. Jodhpur is often referred to by locals as ‘Sun City’ so get ready for some sunshine and blue skies. The city is studded with decorated palaces, crumbling forts, and elaborate temples. Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Blue City’ so watch out for the traditional blue buildings that are dotted around Mehrangarh Fort.

In the afternoon there will be a market visit for you to experience the local culture first-hand and peruse the high quality textiles, handicrafts, and exquisite footwear that comes in a range of flamboyant colours and styles. 

Dinner tonight is at Indique Restaurant OVERLOOKING THE FORT.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 – FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2018
Jodhpur - The Blue City

Start the day with a visit to Mehrangarh Fort that dates from the 15th century and is located atop a hill that offers amazing views of the city. The fort is encircled by fortified walls, and the interior includes palaces, rambling gardens, and courtyards. The visit includes a guided tour so that you can learn all about the historical significance of the fort.

In the afternoon, we visit Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, Asia’s most opulent royal abode. The palace is still the private residence of the Jodhpur royal family, and you can visit the large on site museum as part of the tour.

There’s also the chance to take in the local atmosphere of Jodhpur and wander the old city cobblestone streets lined with markets and bazaars.

Dinner tonight will be served at Gypsy restaurant. Bring your appetite and get ready for a unique cuisine that makes the most of the local ingredients found in the arid lands of Rajasthan.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 13 – SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2018
Jodhpur/ Ranakpur / Udaipur – Venice of the East

We will leave Jodhpur early to travel to Udaipur. This will be one of the longer travel days while on tour.  Enroute visiting Ranakpur “famous for Jain Temples with intricate carvings”. Guides are not allowed inside the temples but audio guides are available at the entrance (a small fee for the audio guide is payable directly to the temple). Lunch will be served at Hotel Fateh Bagh in Ranakpur.
We will arrive at our hotel in the afternoon and have time to relax before our dinner at the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 14 – SUNDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2018
Udaipur

We will start the day with a morning guided tour of the City Palace complex and adjoining museums. The former residence of a long lineage of Rajasthan kings, the palace is notable due to its ornate style and intricate attention to detail. As you wander the palace grounds, look out for beautiful views of Lake Pichola below.

Later today we make some market and bazaar visits, different to your morning visit.

In the evening you will dine at Sunset Terrace in hotel Fateh Prakash. Overlooking the palaces and lakes of Udaipur. This is a truly unique experience and will make an unforgettable end to your trip to Udaipur.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner 

DAY 15 – MONDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2018
Udaipur

Special Experience

There will be an optional experience of taking a one hour yoga class with local Indian yogi, Mr Prakesh. Classes begin at 8am and guests of all levels of ability including beginners are welcome.  After yoga, return to the hotel for breakfast.

From mid-morning, you will take a boat tour on Lake Pichola to take in the scenery, which will then be followed by a drive up to Monsoon Palace. The palace gets its name due to the fact that it was built mainly as an observation point for monsoon clouds, and James Bond fans may recognise it from the film Octopussy. The rest of the day is free for guests to enjoy some leisure time and dinner is at our hotel this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

DAY 16 – TUESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2018
Udaipur - Delhi

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free for leisure activities. In time transfer to the Airport to board the flight for Delhi. Upon arrival remain in transit to board the flight for onward destination.

Meals: Breakfast

*applies to passengers travelling on the group nominated flight as part of their total package.  For travelers making their own flight arrangements please liaise with us about your travel plans.

 

Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel.  Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


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